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Clark's top semicon firm keeps business open, ensures workers' safety amidst pandemic

JUN 08, 2020 BY: Pampanga News Now

CLARK FREEPORT – There may have been challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to industries inside this Freeport, but electronics industry giant SFA Semicon Philippines (SFA) has remained unwavering in its commitment to continue its operations, while safeguarding the safety of their employees, even before the implementation of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

SFA Human Resource and General Affairs Deputy Team Head Daisy Malig said the top semiconductor firm has maintained business continuity by incorporating safety protocols and standards in their processes during the strict periods of quarantine.

“Our operation is normal and of course, we follow protocols (such as) social distancing and many other guidelines for COVID-19 so everything has been in place,” Malig said.

SFA, a subsidiary of global consumer electronics and mobile communications giant Samsung, has about 1,300 employees and is Clark’s consistent top exporter for the past few years. For 2019, the value of its exports was pegged at US$5.51 billion.

According to Malig, the strict implementation of health and safety protocols in their operation has helped ensure unhampered operations of the Korean affiliate company.

Following the GCQ guidelines set by Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Malig said they are able to assure compliance to biosecurity protocols not only for Clark but also for their employees.

“The recently uploaded GCQ guidelines by CDC has become our basis to comply with the requirements. Of course, we have to do it, not only for Clark but for the employees as well. And to make sure that our operations will not be hampered, we have to have a strict implementation of the protocols and additional preventive measures from the guidelines of CDC,” she said.

Malig also shared that a big majority of their employees have returned to work and are being accommodated inside the Freeport.

“Actually, our current manpower, including services like housekeeping and security guard, is almost 1,300. But if services are excluded, 90% of our manpower have already returned to work,” Malig added.

CDC has allowed locator-firms to gradually increase their capacity and number of workers. The step increments in capacity are mostly based on the firms’ compliance with health protocols such as physical distancing in workplaces.

Prioritizing the well-being of their workers, Malig said that before deploying their employees to work, they also require them to go through safety procedures such as undergoing quarantine.

“(From) March 18, we already have some deployment. We have these batches of manpower but we did some surveys on who among our employees are willing and not willing to report to work. If they don’t want to report yet, we won’t force them to do it. Before the deployment, we also initially require them to undergo seven days’ quarantine. For our employees who come from high-risk areas, 14 days quarantine is what we require of them. Then, daily monitoring and checking of health conditions are also being conducted,” she said.

Meanwhile, Malig also enjoined the public and other locators here to continue to support and help each other in making sure that all health standards are being met in this Freeport.

“We just have to get together with the support of everyone. Coordination, cooperation, and sharing of information on best practices to all locators. On our part, we have this initiative in conducting our own observation. Like, if a certain industry is not following the guidelines and social distancing protocol, we also report it. Because we know that CDC cannot do it alone, so we have to help them as well, by providing information about other industries who do not comply and help them be monitored and be guided,” she said.


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